|Toledo, Ohio Mercy Field|
|#25 Burton,J||Doubles||3 Players|
|#1 Stewart,J||Triples||2 Players (#8,#12)|
|None||Home Runs||2 Players (#15,#14)|
TOLEDO, Ohio – Taylor Turner (JR/Northville, Mich.) pitched one of his best games of the season and Jalen Thomas (SO/Southfield, Mich.) belted his first career grand slam as the fifth-seeded Madonna University baseball team blew past sixth-seeded Cornerstone University 8-0 in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament elimination game at Mercy Field on Monday afternoon.
The Crusaders have a quick turnaround as they look to keep their postseason hopes alive when they face Concordia University-Ann Arbor at 7 p.m. at Mercy Field.
Taylor Turner improved to 6-4 on the season as he allowed just four hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in seven scoreless innings before giving way to closer Cliff Landess (JR/Carleton, Mich. ) who tossed two one-hit innings with four more strikeouts to preserve the shutout victory.
The offense did more than enough, although it took a little longer than they would have liked. Cornerstone starter Collin Young matched Turner pitch for pitch through 5.2 innings as neither pitcher allowed more than one base runner in a single inning until the sixth.
In the top of the frame, the Golden Eagles got a leadoff walk and a bunt single, but Turner notched two strikeouts and induced an infield popup to escape the jam. In the bottom half, Thomas, who finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI, doubled with one out before Ryan Lambrecht (SR/Lake Orion, Mich.) drew a walk. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs and ended the day for Young.
Madonna failed to score in the sixth, but broke things open with a six run seventh. Jared Hagan (JR/Dearborn Heights, Mich.) got the rally started with a leadoff triple and back-to-back walks to Mitch Hudvagner (JR/Cottam, Ontario) and Ryan Freemantle (SR/Mississauga, Ontario) loaded the bases. Jerad Dokey (FR/Howell, Mich.) drove in the game's first run with an RBI walk and Thomas crushed the second pitch he saw over the right field fence for a grand slam and the 5-0 lead. A two out solo home run, again to right field, off the bat of WHAC Player of the Year Taylor Grzelakowski (SR/Fraser, Mich.) made it 6-0.
Hagan led off the eighth with a single and an RBI triple by Freemantle followed by a double off the bat of Matt Deneau (JR/Amherstburg, Ontario) accounted for the eight Crusader runs.
Madonna tallied 10 hits in the win to improve to 19-3 when they outhit their opponent, 3-2 when they hit two or more home runs, 23-9 when they score first and 25-4 when they score more than six runs.
Hagan led the offense with three hits in four at bats with a run scored while Thomas and Freemantle each tallied two hits. Thomas had four of the teams eight RBI with Grzelakowski, Freemantle, Deneau and Dokey each collecting one.
Madonna and Concordia square off in the second elimination game of the day at 7 p.m. at Mercy Field with live audio of the game available via the Madonna Athletics Network at madonnacrusaders.com/live and live stats available at sidearmsports.com/lourdes/baseball.
The University of Northwestern Ohio eliminated Indiana Tech 4-0 earlier in the day and Davenport University downed Concordia 13-1. UNOH and Davenport will meet in the winner's bracket championship at 5 p.m. at UNOH's Racers Field at St. Rita's Sports Complex.
The winner of the Crusader and Cardinals will face the loser of the Racers and Panthers at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at Racers Field with the WHAC Championship game to follow at 3 p.m., also at UNOH. The "if necessary" championship game is Wednesday, May 10 at 12 p.m. at UNOH.
A complete breakdown of tournament seeds, field locations and the bracket is available via the UNOH sports information department here.
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